Concato Racing started racing cars in 1994. Racing just about anything we could in the bracket racing program at Raceway Park, in Englishtown, NJ. We began to look to the future. At the time, we decided that the best approach would be to start with a slower street/race car and then move up as we could. At the time Rob Concato started working on the cars as our Crew Chief and Rich Concato handled all the driving.
In 1999 we ordered a 2000 Camaro new from Chassis Specialties in Blairstown, NJ. This car was a purpose built Pro Stock legal 2000 Camaro. Soon after ordering the car we decided to move to a Small Block program instead of the Big Blocks we had been running. In 2001 we debuted the new car in NHRA Competition Eliminator. The car ran B-Econo-altered (B/EA) for the next 4 years. In that time we progressively learned and got faster with every week. At one point in 2002, we were the fastest B/EA car in the country running 8.02 @ 166MPH with a 323 CID Small Block Chevy in the car.
In 2004 the car was outfitted with a newer sleeker 2003 Custom Camaro body and a new Tom Martino built 310 CID Small Block. While the landscape in Comp was changing dramatically we managed to run a 7.94 @ 168MPH that year. Soon after, the 2004 season ended, we opted to move out of comp due to the extreme financial burdens it was placing on us. The planned 2005 year off, quickly turned into a two year break from racing. Taking time to start families and the like, we decided to sell all the comp stuff and build a new bigger small block for the car to run in 2006.
In late 2006 we brought the car back to the track with a new motor and the car ran very well. It continued getting just a little faster each time out. In 2009 the car was outfitted with the latest greatest Pro Stock technology throughout the drive train, and those upgrades proved to be well worth the cost as the car was running very well heading into the 2010 season. In 2016 I made my last passes in our Camaro and in any car for that matter. The Camaro ended up running 7.0’s at 192 MPH with a N/A Small Block and an Automatic Transmission. It has since been sold.
In 2003 I wired the first car for someone other than ourselves. This laid the groundwork for the formation of Concato Racing Custom Wiring in 2008. Since opening the doors in 2008 I have wired roughly 250 cars. This was also the beginning of the relationship with Auto Rod Controls.
I started using John Zizza’s products for our own cars in 2001 and from there, he and I became close friends. About 80% of the cars wired at Concato Racing used ARC Components in them. In 2015 I started working more closely with ARC on new product development. This relationship eventually started the conversation of one day assuming control of ARC upon John’s retirement.
John started ARC in 1978. In 1982 ARC won “Best New Performance Product Award” at SEMA. Since then, John had continually raised the bar in Racing Electrical Systems. By all accounts John’s knowledge of Automobile electrical systems was second to none!
In 2019 we started to more aggressively discuss the sale of ARC upon John’s retirement. The date of transfer was set to be June of 2023. In the meantime, we started doing all circuit board assembly at the Concato Racing shop in NJ.
Unfortunately, in December of 2020, John tragically passed away. This put all of the plans we had for the future transfer in disarray. Rita Zizza, John’s wife had been on board with all of our plans and upon his passing asked if we could accelerate the timeline and execute the transfer in May of 2021.
In May of 2021 Auto Rod Controls became AutoRod Corporation. We still have the Massachusetts shop as well as the NJ facility. Either shop can do any work that may need to be done including warranty work and new product development.
As the new owner of ARC I have learned a lot since May 1. The lessons John taught me over the years have proven to be very valuable. Today, ARC is as viable and as relevant as ever with new products coming and more importantly, we have been able to continually produce products with NO back ordering! We are very proud of this feat in today’s world and plan on staying this course.
Lastly, AutoRod Corporation will continue to warranty any products built by ARC since 1978 as we have the only Lifetime Warranty in racing and that will not be changing!!